When I was a little girl, a long, long time ago…during the lazy days of summer I was often bored. I would lay my quilt under the trees and play with my little sister, brother, trucks and dolls. I thought summer would never end.
We often times spent the whole day under one particular tree. It was simply called the “mimosa tree”. It was the loveliest trees in our yard. It the most wonderful pink, feathery flowers. The tree also had fan-like leaves that we removed and threw as confetti, gathered in a pile to represent food.
While we could sit, play, eat and do all types of things under the tree, we were told to never climb the tree. Since my brother and I were only one year apart, and I was the eldest…I did what all good older sisters do…I challenged him to climb the tree…high.
The reason that we weren’t to the tree became very apparent one afternoon. Again, being the responsible, elder sister…I had challenged my brother up the tree and I dutifully followed him. “Creak, crack…crash!” down we came with a thud. Thankfully we only had the breath knocked out of us. But we finally understood the warning.
The mimosa tree has very soft wood. Too much weight on any given limb causes it to bend and break easily. While it was a delight to play under, playing or partaking in the tree caused problems.
Genesis 2:8-9 “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of that ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “ vs 16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
What does that have to do with a simple mimosa tree? It is the same principle. God had a provision for Adam and Eve in the garden as He has for us today. We still make that choice. If we choose evil, we separate ourselves from God, just like Adam and Eve.
But the same is true of eating the good. We participate in many “good” things. We can feed the hungry, clothe the poor, teach young children, attend church every time the door opens. While these things are not “bad” in and of themselves, in our busyness, we can be separated from God.
The “weight” of these activities can cause us to tumble and fall…miss our time with the Father! If we do things simply because they are good, we miss the entire point. These things are done because of our intimate relationship with Him and because of surrender as He does these things through us.
As my mother warned us not to climb too high, we were allowed to admire the tree, play under the tree, but not truly partake in the tree. She knew, like our Abba Father does that there would be consequences for partaking in that “forbidden fruit”. She knew we would take a tumble!
And for what it is worth…things sometimes do come back around. Same warning, but my eldest this time. And yes, up the tree he went. And yes, down to the ground he fell. Like his mother and uncle before him, no broken bones, but a lesson learned. I wonder if I will ever repeat this story to any grandchildren?
IN CHRIST ALONE
*google image, NIV Bible*